Living in Charlotte
The Charlotte area was the site of America’s first gold rush, prompted in 1799 when 12-year-old Conrad Reed found a whopper of a nugget playing in a Cabarrus County creek. Today, people are drawn here by other lodes: booming commerce, vibrant culture, and a subtropical climate that’s palpably milder than just a state or two north. Greater Charlotte represents the fourth-largest metropolitan region in the Southeast and one of the fastest-growing in the entire country. Nearly three million make their home in the 16 counties surrounding the “Queen City,” located in both North and South Carolina—they’ve gained nearly 20% of their collective population over the past decade alone. Countless companies across all industries maintain headquarters, if not a substantial presence, in Charlotte’s thriving urban core, most notably the finance, technology, and higher education sectors. And while “Metrolina” is all well inland, water-borne recreation thrives on Lake Norman, the largest manmade lake in the state, and throughout the Catawba River basin.